Tourism focus looks beyond "Wine Country"

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- The Grand Junction Visitors and Convention Bureau is planning to make some changes to how it markets the Grand Valley in 2013.

The VCB will be expanding its focus beyond the attraction of "Wine Country" to incorporate a variety of outdoor activities.

"Our brand is Colorado Wine Country so we're not going to be forgetting the wine country, we're going to be going after that group but we have to focus on the word 'country', and that's our lifestyle here in Grand Junction and that's the hiking, the biking the rafting," said Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing and public relations coordinator for the VCB.

Meyeraan said they based this year's marketing plans on responses to an online survey, which found 50 percent of visitors said their reason for traveling to the Valley is for wine country, 29 percent said they visited for outdoor activities, and 27 percent said they traveled for events or festivals.

Meyeraan emphasized this year's focus on biking, highlighting two new biking events to the area and the return of Tour of the Moon.

"It helps promote downtown because whenever you get people coming downtown to shop and get food and cycle and watch crazy things, that's a plus," said Brown's Cycles owner Chris Brown. "We open our doors wide and let people use our bathrooms and sell a bike part or two and just kind of have fun with it at the same time."

Tom Kleinschnitz, owner of Adventure Bound River Expeditions, said he's welcoming the marketing shift with open arms.

"The grapes are incredibly important, a big viable part of the industry here and it's a key component of tourism but it's only part of it and we're excited to hear they're going to promote some of the other things that are going on," he said.

Meyeraan said the VCB will also be focusing on digital content in its advertising this year, replacing some more traditional forms of advertising.

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